Category Archives: Economics

Pricing under pressure

(featured image credit: Alex W) Should morality, rather than the market, dictate the right price of goods and services in emergency situations? In his book Misbehaving, behavioural economist Richard Thaler relates an interesting experiment he conducted with Daniel Kahneman and Jack … Continue reading

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An accidental behavioural economist on holiday

(featured image credit: Stocksnap) (Behavioural) economics lenses don’t stop working when you’re on break, it seems It is sometimes said that “economics is the study of human behaviour”. (A Google search of this exact phrase produces over 30,000 hits, so … Continue reading

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Why choosing can be better than picking

(featured image credit: Penn State) Life is an endless string of choices. The way we make them matters In the 1982 movie Sophie’s Choice (after the eponymous book by William Styron), the central character (played by Meryl Streep) faces a dramatic … Continue reading

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Eggs and chips

(featured image credit: paul sandham/CC) Why we see two similar health threats very differently My native country is in international the news again, thanks to the unfolding egg scandal that is now expanding well beyond its borders. Traces of Fipronil, … Continue reading

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Fairness or efficiency?

(featured image: NeuPaddy) Yet another instance of the tension between our emotions and economic logic Imagine a clothing retailer who charges more for an item in a larger size than for an almost identical one in a more mainstream size. While … Continue reading

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Honesty in a box

(featured image credit Tim Green) Acting dishonestly often pays. So does acting honestly go against our own self-interest? Travelling along Britain’s rural roads one doesn’t just encounter octagonal former toll houses (and real tolls). Something else that was unfamiliar to me … Continue reading

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Misunderstanding rationality

(Featured image credit: Les Colporteurs CC0) It is tempting to equate ‘rational’ with ‘right’, and ‘irrational’ with ‘wrong’, but that is mistaken The lottery is sometimes called a tax on the stupid. The logic behind this opinion is that the … Continue reading

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